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About Me

THE BASICS

This space used to have a long list of the various jobs I’ve done, an idea borrowed (stolen) from Douglas Adams, who often had a list of all the wacky things he’d done on the back of his books, at least in the early days. I thought that was funny, and like Douglas I’ve worked a ton of wacky jobs. Now, though, I’m finished with identifying myself by the work I’ve done for others. So here’s who I am at the moment of writing (28 January 2020), in no particular order.

I’m a husband and father. I’m married to Owen, and father to Bernie and John.

I’m a chronicler of the world of improvised music. I’ve been interviewing improvising musicians for nearly 20 years. Since 2007, I’ve been doing it on my podcast The Jazz Session, the original jazz interview podcast. I encourage you to check it out and to support it with your dollars if it’s something you find valuable.

I’m the co-host, with Owen, of a podcast called A Brief Chat. It’s a weekly show about living authentic lives on our own terms. Each week we talk to one another and interview someone who inspires us. We also have a bonus episode each first Friday featuring a poet. You can listen to the show (and become a member) at ABriefChat.com.

I’m a poet. You can read my work in the My Poems section of the site. You can also listen to several of my poetry readings. I’ve got one book out and another on the way in 2020.

I’m a Buddhist. I started practicing Buddhism at about the same time I started interviewing improvising musicians. I’m primarily in the Sōtō Zen tradition, but I sometimes borrow from other places, too. I meditate every day and try my best to follow the precepts, with varying levels of success.

I’m an anarchist. I believe that small intentional communities of mutual aid are the only rational way forward. I don’t want there to be governments, borders, prisons, banks, a financial system, armies, cops, and all the other things that go along with other people telling us how to live. Utah Phillips described my beliefs on this topic better than I can: “If you and I can agree to do our share of the work in this world; if you and I can agree to take only what we need and put back what we can; if you and I can agree to care for the afflicted; if you and I can agree not to hurt anybody; if you and I can agree in some small way to get the work of the world done without the boss and the state, that’s anarchism.”

I’m a musician. I used to do that for my living. Nowadays I do it when I can, most recently in a trio called Elorza, playing music from Venezuela and other Spanish-speaking places. I play saxophone and cajón. Here’s a video.

I’m a tarot reader. I use the cards in an intuitive way as a means of breaking myself and others out of ingrained thought patterns. Contact me if you’d like to learn more.

I am all these things and many others, too. And I’m constantly changing.

I was born in Lenox, Massachusetts, in 1973 and I’ve moved more than three dozen times since then. I’ve lived in Massachusetts, New York (state and city), New Hampshire, Arizona, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Alabama, Japan (twice), and I now live in Pennsylvania. Owen and I are moving to Tucson in March 2020.

You can contact me about…

STUFF I WROTE THAT GOT PRINTED AND WHATNOT

Books

Poems in other publications

Opinion pieces

STUFF OTHER PEOPLE WROTE ABOUT ME FOR WHATEVER REASON